I have a financial transaction that looks something like this (pseudo):

    select record for update
    update record(same record as selected)
    insert another record into another table

If I call SELECT ... FOR UPDATE within the transaction, will the lock be released for the specific rows only when the transaction is committed ?


According to Page 418 Paragraph 3 of MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide

MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide

the following commands can break a transaction


As long as you do not any of these commands inside the transaction, the transaction should be stable. In fact, SELECT FOR UPDATE is so strong that row locks invade the indexes as well as the data. It could even set off possible InnoDB deadlocks. I once wrote about that in this post : select for update gives error on indexed column

As long as you keep transactions short and sweet, SELECT FOR UPDATE should not be a problem. If you want to protect your transaction from intermittent or unexpected deadlocks, MySQL 5.6 now has the following:


You should start the transaction with options like these. Why ?

According to that MySQL Documentation:

The READ WRITE and READ ONLY modifiers set the transaction access mode. They permit or prohibit changes to tables used in the transaction. The READ ONLY restriction prevents the transaction from modifying or locking both transactional and nontransactional tables that are visible to other transactions; the transaction can still modify or lock temporary tables. These modifiers are available as of MySQL 5.6.5.

Your last comment was

so can i lock rows within a transaction another way other then for update

You can also run SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE. The Documentation says

  • SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE sets a shared mode lock on any rows that are read. Other sessions can read the rows, but cannot modify them until your transaction commits. If any of these rows were changed by another transaction that has not yet committed, your query waits until that transaction ends and then uses the latest values.
  • For index records the search encounters, SELECT ... FOR UPDATE locks the rows and any associated index entries, the same as if you issued an UPDATE statement for those rows. Other transactions are blocked from updating those rows, from doing SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE, or from reading the data in certain transaction isolation levels. Consistent reads ignore any locks set on the records that exist in the read view. (Old versions of a record cannot be locked; they are reconstructed by applying undo logs on an in-memory copy of the record.)

Although possible, keep transactions short. Otherwise, you can increase the likelihood of deadlocks.

UPDATE 2014-02-13 21:57 EST

To clear up any misconceptions, please note this from the MySQL Documentation:

All locks set by LOCK IN SHARE MODE and FOR UPDATE queries are released when the transaction is committed or rolled back.

Therefore, if you execute SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE inside a transaction, the rows stay locked until the transaction commits or rolls back.

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  • my transaction is about 300 lines of code. within the transaction it checks for certain conditions and performs loops etc.. the only statements within the 300 lines of code are select, update and insert. not very expensive statements. at the beginning of the transaction i start it with a begin. the reason for the lock is i cannot allow concurrent connections reading and updating the data until the transaction either completes successfully or fails(which rollbacks the transaction) – tommo Feb 12 '14 at 7:21
  • so can i lock rows within a transaction another way other then for update? – tommo Feb 13 '14 at 0:27
  • spot on man! thanks for your indepth answer. – tommo Feb 14 '14 at 2:58

Also LOOP if exception handler is out of loop and transaction scope is with in loop even then mysql breaks transaction upon exception, better declare exception handler if any at same scope transaction was declared.

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  • This may be a good point but is it relevant to the question? I think the question is about whether a SELECT FOR UPDATE lock issued inside a transaction will stay till the end of the transaction. – Andriy M Sep 9 '16 at 10:05

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